Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Saturday said the Obama administration neglected would-be department priorities to pursue a climate change agenda and hinted that a rollback of some regulations could be announced as soon as next week.
“I wanted to send a message to those at the agency — there are some very important things that the EPA does for this country,” Mr. Pruitt said on the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference. “There are air quality issues and water quality issues that cross state line[s].”
“There’s some very important work to protect and provide leadership … but what’s happened over the last several years is the previous administration was so focused on climate change and so focused on CO2 that some of those other priorities were left behind,” he said.
He said some regulations will be rolled back in the near term “in a very aggressive way.”
“Next week, you may be hearing about some of those,” he said.
He said the Obama administration “transformed” the Clean Water Act through the Waters of the United States rule on regulating streams and rivers.
Mr. Pruitt’s agency could also roll back the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which imposed carbon dioxide limits on the country’s power plants.
He did concede that a sentiment among some conservatives that the EPA should just go away is “justified.”
“I think people across this country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS,” he said, also saying he hoped to change that.